First, the numbers.
Hours: 88h 06min
Hours: 664h 32min
A quick scan of these figures makes me think that nice, round year-end goals would be something like 6500 miles (a convenient average of 125 MPW), 1000 hours, and a million vertical feet of running. Or at least would be if I maintained roughly the same pace (in all three areas) that I have averaged for the first two-thirds of the year.
This past week I eclipsed the mileage figure that I achieved for the entire year of 2009, and I still have four months to go. Jocelyn has commented to me that it seems I finally figured it out this year. "It" being how to balance my running volume with my body's breaking point so as to maximize day-to-day happiness and race performance. This is not easy. Running is a tricky game because as runners we must repeatedly condition ourselves to ignore the little internal voices that implore us to stop, sleep in, walk, skip a run, so that when it comes time to actually listen very acutely to what our body and those little voices are saying ("you know, this tendon is a little bit sore...better back off here" etc., etc.) we're not very good at heeding their advice any more. But, I think I'm starting to get it.
For the past 10 days since Leadville, I've been resting. I've had a couple acupuncture sessions, my longest run has been 31min/4mi and I've done a run as short as 10 minutes. After a long spring/summer of training and racing, my head tells my body that I need it even though my body doesn't seem to think so. My legs have felt the best they ever have after a 100 mile event. Duh, you say, you didn't run 100 miles! You only made it 81! Yes, but last August when I only made it 78 miles I was absurdly sore the first 3-4 days afterwards and tired for about two weeks. I don't feel any of that this year, and, of course, that has me thinking quite animatedly about what my running plans might be for the remaining months of the year.
Right now, it's tough to say. With the end of August comes the end of summer, in my mind. Fall is likely my favorite season of the entire year. The weather is perfect and the trails are still largely snow-free. For these reasons it is tough to convince me that it is an appropriate time of year to take some serious down-time. Now that I'm back in school, I do know that my running will mostly remain quite close to home, as in, from my front doorstep. Chautauqua and all of its spiderwebbing trails are now a mere seven minute jog from my porch, so I imagine that Green Mt and very likely Bear Peak will once again figure quite prominently in my daily running scenarios. (Over the summer, Green had fallen a bit out of favor--only making it to the top 3-4 times per week instead of my usual 7-8--because there was so much high-country to be explored.)
As for racing, I only know for sure that I am interested in heading out to Marin in early December for what has become the yearly end-of-the-season showdown at the North Face 50 mile Championships. The prize money always attracts healthy competition and typically assembles a field whose depth can really only be rivaled by the Western States 100 in June. Considering how much fun I had there this year, there's no way I want to miss out on the action in the Headlands this December.
Before that, I'm keeping my schedule flexible, but am thinking of taking a crack at a couple of the more classic 50 mile races on the circuit: Firetrails and Mt. Masochist come to mind. Denver hosts a Rock 'n Roll Marathon in October as well, and seeing as I haven't run a proper road marathon in four years, it could be fun to pound the pavement for a couple hours. And, before the snow really starts flying, there are a couple of high-country loops that I've been eyeing all summer but haven't had the chance to get around to just yet this year: the Four Passes Loop in the Elk Mountains near Aspen, CO and the Buchanan-Pawnee Pass Loop closer to home here in our very own Indian Peaks Wilderness. No matter what, the change in seasons will certainly bring a change (even if only subtle) to my running.
Depending who shows up, NF50 could be another epic battle for sure. Would be awesome to see what you could do on an all pavement race. I'm guessing somewhere in the 2:35-2:45 range, but I've been wrong before. Good luck in school and exploring those new trails.
A million vertical feet of running sounds pretty damn cool. :)
DUH! about yearly mileage.
As you know only too well, running is about enjoying the hours on the trail with your own solutide or with a few like minded souls. The racing will work itself out as the year progresses..Your head and body will tell which races to run.. ..Enjoy those miles on the trail with the colors/cool temps of fall.
Have you had any trouble with the 100's ripping on the inner heal area, right above the sole on the mesh? There were only 300 miles on them when I noticed it, and nothing specific caused it that I know of.
"Duh, you say, you didn't run 100 miles! You only made it 81!" .... hahahah. Tony - Trust me, very few of us would say that! :) The only person who would dare say such a thing to you ... is you. :)
pine to palm... just under 3 weeks... geoff is thinking about it... hal would be stoked, i'm sure... maybe even killian could make the trip? at any rate, please give it some thought... we'd love to have you in the northwest again... (thanks for white river...)
peace and good things to you...
The past is the key to your present.....thanks for the blog updates
it took me all of june to run 81 miles. . . .
Just curious. What kind of road marathon times have you run? I seem to recall your first was ~3:40.
Try and avoid Firetrails. I heard that a bow legged dude from Bend doesn't want you to beat him by and hour.
Though I've always felt a deep connection to running and nature, I have never been able to describe the feeling as accurately as you do here!
You are truly an inspiration to me and a positive force in this world, so I wish you all the best.
"Sage est l'homme qui connait ses limites"
Listen to your body !
Tony, If you're taking votes I'd like to cast mine for Mt. Masochist. Nine weeks til race day then you have another four weeks til NF50. I'm sure you already have the link but..
love to see what you could do at a lower elevation 50.
I'd say 2:35-45 is a pretty safe guess. My PR is an overexpired 2:42 and if I run Denver I won't be exactly keying on it--mostly just fun to do a big road race in the city.
Nope, haven't had that problem with the 100s...but everyone's feet do different things to shoes.
We'll see about Firetrails...I just love doing the classic races. Good to know it won't be a purely Californian field!
I've actually run a number of low-elevation 50 milers already...White River, American River, and Miwok (close enough to 50). Besides, Masochist is 54 miles! But seriously, I'm definitely interested.
2:35-2:45??? I'd say more like 2:25 to 2:35 if you pick a fast course.
Perhaps you're not ready, but perhaps you are.
Thanks for the effort put forth linking to things!
If one is familiar with the yearly training volumes of current and past (ultra-)endurance superstars, it's hard to see how 1,000 hours/year of weight bearing, single-activity training isn't counter-productive to reaching top performances that continue for a good many years. It's another issue altogether if performance improvement is NOT a key motivation behind the 1,000 hours. In that case, meticulous training stats and competition results simply aren't that interesting.
I hope you are signed up for the NF50 because iRF says its almost sold out! Although I'm sure you'll have no trouble qualifying in one of their other races if need be.
Would you feel comfortable clueing us in on your diet? How do you fuel such high volume training?
Just checked on irunfar.com and it says "If you want to sign up for December 4 championship race, do so immediately. That includes you, elites, as there will not be extra slots reserved for last minute entry! However, there will be a waitlist when the race does reach true capacity."
I'm debating signing up myself...
When you aren't running how do you get around?
Bike, car, walk, or some of each.
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